So…. I don’t always think things through. Sometimes I get so caught up in the moment of loving something (like competing in kettlebell sport) that I overextend myself and commit to doing too many things. Many months ago I was perusing the IKFF website. I like to check in regularly to see what competitions are coming up, especially ones close to Toronto. So when I saw the Chicago Classic happening in June 8th I couldn’t resist. Back in March this seemed like a good idea. Probably because back in March my kettlebell training was going amazing and I knew I was close to hitting the numbers I needed for my Rank 1 in the long cycle with the 16kg. Carl and I were talking about doing renovations but nothing was happening yet. It was a long way off from writing report cards so again, everything seemed like a great idea so I bought my plane ticket and registered. I also considered this to be extra insurance in case I didn’t hit my desired rank in April at Canadians, I had a backup plan. Turns out I didn’t need to have a backup plan since I hit my rank at the Agatsu Canadian Championships . But since my plane ticket was bought and I was registered, I decided there was no backing out, and it was a time to make a new goal. I decided I would try to finally hit triple digits and hit 100 reps. That weekend also marked almost to the day, the very first day Jason became my coach. I decided competing in this meet would be a tribute to my coach to thank him for his amazing instruction and dedication to my programming. I was also excited because even though my coach Jason wasn’t going to be at this competition, I had asked my friend Sincere Hogan if he would fill Jason’s seat and coach me through my set. He agreed, and his birthday was even going to be on the Sunday after the competition. So I now had double the motivation to hit a big number – 1 year with coach, and Sincere’s birthday.
Then all hell broke loose. Our house was gutted on the main floor, and then we unexpectedly added our only bathroom to the mix. For over a month I have been showering at StrengthBox every morning on my way to work. Wanting to make weight for this event I needed to watch my diet closely. Given that we have no kitchen (although we kept the fridge plugged in) our options were limited. I have basically been eating different but very similar versions of salad for over a month. We did cave and have take out due to living in a major construction zone, but even then I only ordered different salads. I’m pretty impressed because periods of stress generally make me crave shitty carbs but I was focused on my goal and commitment to the competition. Once May hit I was starting to feel the strain of the end of the school year and keeping on my timeline for covering the curriculum before the end of the reporting period. And ofcourse, I had to start thinking about writing report cards. These documents are so tedious and time consuming. It takes me over an hour per student to complete and I’m given no time during my work day to complete them. I was determined to finish them before the June 7th P.A day , and I came close, but still wound up being up until 3am after returning from Chicago finishing my last subject comments and editing them.
A week before the Chicago competition my world was rocked. One of my best friends (and cousin) in the whole world passed away. It came as a huge unexpected shock. Carl and I were both a mess. I thought several times about packing it in and canceling everything, but there was this little voice that was nagging at me to persevere and follow through. My cousin was a very competitive guy and amazing athlete. I would have loved for him to see me compete. I decided if there was ever a motivation to go and hit a big number, this was it. I also felt like I needed a cathartic escape to get out of town and clear my head, and hammer some kettle. It was definitely therapeutic.
The end result – I hammered hard (phrasing) and hit my goal of reaching the triple digits. I even set a PR of 14 reps from Agatsu Canadians which had only been 6 weeks previous. TOTAL – 113 reps. I really enjoyed every second of it. I had a lovely panel of judges who were super supportive and awesome, I met some new people and saw some inspiring lifters. Mission accomplished. There was a time (30lbs heavier ago) that I would constantly make excuses. I would look for any little thing to go wrong to avoid a difficult workout or competition. I would literally talk myself out of it and grant myself permission to quit. This time I was determined to carry out my goal in spite of the adversity (some of which I had created, others I had no control over). And in the end I showed that commitment and a solid routine can survive the most challenging and disruptive circumstances.
Here’s my set:
Dedicated to my cousin Matt. I love you brother.